TINLEY PARK- The United State Department of Homeland Security confirmed Russian hackers were responsible for the malicious 2016 cyber-attack on the Illinois Voter Registration System database that compromised personal information for as many as 90,000 Illinois residents.

State Senator Michael E. Hastings (D-Tinley Park) is working to prevent similar breaches in security from ever happening in Illinois again.

“Our nation’s heroes have fought and made the ultimate sacrifice to protect our democracy,” Hastings said. “Free elections are a core value of our society. For foreign hackers to infringe on this undeniable right is a direct assault on the privacy of Illinois voters.”

Hastings has been working in the Illinois State Senate to investigate the cybersecurity breach to reassure Illinois residents that there are protections put in place to protect their personal data and resolve unanswered questions.

He championed the passage of Senate Bill 707 which institutes proper procedures and regulations for state agencies to report and remedy cybersecurity breaches that compromiseIllinois residents’ confidential information.

Illinois was one of the 21 states this week notified by Homeland Security that Russian hackers had targeted their voting systems. The notification came roughly a year after the states’ voter databases were breached.

“The people of Illinois need to be able to believe in the democratic process,” Hastings said. “Between now and the next election, it is absolutely imperative the Illinois State Board of Elections take advantage of every possible resource to protect our election infrastructure from intruders’ attacks.”

Hastings has continued to work with U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) to check in with local Illinois election authorities to guarantee their systems are scraped of potential malware software to remove any type of security weakness.

“A lot of work needs to be done over the next year to confirm Illinois’ election authorities have the proper protections in place to safeguard online voter databases,” Hastings said. “I will continue to fight to ensure Illinois continues to update our election infrastructure to meet the technological needs of the 21st century.”

Hastings will hold additional hearings as the Chairman of the Illinois State Senate’s Committee on Cybersecurity to receive further updates from the State Board of Elections.

Category: Press Releases


March4 RSTINLEY PARK- State Senator Michael E. Hastings (D-Tinley Park) is excited to announce Illinois’ bipartisan automatic voter registration legislation is now law.

Under this bipartisan legislation, Senate Bill 1933, Illinois residents seeking a new or renewed driver's license or state ID would be automatically registered to vote unless they opt out.

“Our election systems are one of the most sacred components of our nation’s democratic system,” Hastings said. “This is a testament to our American values. Everyone should be engaged in our election process regardless of political party or belief. Our veterans and service men and women have and continue put their lives on the line to protect this fundamental right. Out of respect and honor it is our duty to exercise it.”

Before the passage of Senate Bill 1933, motorists seeking services at secretary of state facilities are asked if they want to register to vote or update their registration, requiring them to choose to take that extra step.

“Government should be a direct representation of the people,” Hastings said. “This new law will make it easier for Illinois residents to voice their opinions at the ballot box.”

The bipartisan law includes provisions suggested by opponents such as requiring an applicant to confirm they are eligible to vote, and giving people the option to opt out of registering at the time they are getting their license renewed or updated.

Senate Bill 1933 passed the Senate and House with bipartisan support. The new law will go into effect immediately to allow automatic voter registration to be implemented by July 1, 2018.

Category: Press Releases

March5 RS

TINLEY PARK- Illinois state agencies will now be required to report all cybersecurity attacks within five days.

Senate Bill 707, sponsored by State Senator Michael E. Hastings (Tinley Park) was signed into law today.

The new law requires state agencies to release detailed reports within five days of determining there was a security breach concerning any of their networks and databases especially those that compromise Illinois residents’ information.

“The people of Illinois deserve to know if a security breach has taken place at a taxpayer funded agencies,” Hastings said. “Illinois residents deserve to not only be informed of all cybersecurity breaches but be reassured the proper steps were taken to make sure similar attacks will not happen again.”

Hastings started looking into this issue after the July 2016 attack on the Illinois State Board of Elections.

In July 2016, an employee of the Illinois Board of Elections flagged irregular activity, which found that hackers had gained access to the state’s voter databases, which contained personal information such as names, dates of birth, genders, driver’s licenses and partial Social Security numbers of about 15 million people. Ultimately, as many as 90,000 records were compromised.  

“We live in a digital world. It’s important that Illinois’ laws evolve and update with the way government works,” Hastings said.

Senate Bill 707 requires all security breaches that affect more than 250 Illinois residents, and then the breach should be reported to the Office of the Chief Information Security Officer of DoIT no later than 72 hours after the alleged breach. The Chief Information Security Officer will assess the report; if releasing the report would jeopardize the security of Illinois resident or the ongoing investigation that determination will be made.

“Illinois needs to work to strengthen their cyber security systems,” Hastings said. “It’s important to use previous attacks as a learning experience to better strengthen our system and fend off attackers.”

Senate Bill 707 passed the Senate and House with bipartisan support and goes into effect today.

Category: Press Releases

March1 RS

TINLEY PARK— State Senator Michael E. Hastings (D-Tinley Park) championed legislation to establish best practices and consistent regulations to protect dogs and cats throughout Illinois.

Hastings’ initiative, Senate Bill 1882, was signed into law today.  This new law also known as “Safe Pets” will establish standards to protect the health and well-being of animals sold in Illinois.

“Welcoming dogs and cats into your family is physically and mentally rewarding,” Hastings said. “These furry friends do not take long to become part of your family. It is our duty to put protections in place to protect our family pets’ well-being as well as make sure there are precautions in place to reunite dogs and cats with our families sooner.”

The primary components of this regulatory standard for pet stores:

•    Prohibits pet stores from purchasing animals from large commercial breeders that are USDA-licensed and does not have direct non-compliance citations over a two-year period.
•    Pet stores are required to microchip dogs or cats prior to sale.
•    Requires pet stores to obtain copies of USDA inspection reports either from the USDA website (if posted online) or directly from the breeder prior to purchasing the cat or dog and must be available to consumers prior to sale.

Hastings worked with the Illinois Pet Lovers Association and the Illinois Humane Society

These protections enhance public confidence in the health of the animal prior to purchase.

“The enactment of this bill is an important step in the right direction and brings us one day closer to the day when cruel puppy mills have nowhere left to sell,” said Marc Ayers, Illinois Director of the Humane Society of the United States. “Illinois is the eighth state to enact a pet store sourcing law, preventing the worst puppy mills from selling to in-state pet stores."

Hastings worked with organizations and stakeholders throughout Illinois to develop a compromise to protect Illinois’ dogs and cats.

“This legislation is the result of countless hours of negotiation to institute responsible and thoughtful pet industry regulations in Illinois to protect Illinois’ dogs and cats,” Hastings said.

Senate Bill 1882 passed the Senate and House with bipartisan support. This new law goes into effect immediately.

Category: Press Releases

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Welcome to the official website of Senator Michael E. Hastings. Please fill out our contact form to contact Senator Hastings directly or you may call any of our offices. We look forward to hearing from you.

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